How to sew a basic notebook | Tutorial

Sew yourself a new notebook or make a gift for a friend. Easy to follow DIY tutorial.

Recently I'm obsessed with scrolling through Pinterest and searching for art journaling inspiration. I have found tons of creative people and their amazing art journals (I even created a whole board dedicated for that! You can check it HERE) and I thought that it is about time to stop scrolling, admiring and watching to the screen and start acting!

So what do you need to start an art journal? Of course - journal! What could be better than a handmade one? If you would like to start from the scratch and sew a simple notebook for yourself you came to the right place!

First off all you will need:

  • 15 sheets of paper (I used special art paper for watercolors because I know that it will get a lot of water, but if you are not planning on using paint, just pens, try thinner paper)
  • thread and needle
  • scissors
  • a pencil and a ruler


1. Fold all the papers in the middle and make 3 stacks (5 pages in each) like in the photo below. In the world of book binding they are called signatures!


Now we will work with every signature separately.

2. Take one signature and open it in the middle. With a ruler and pencil mark dots every centimeter. You can use paper clips to make sure that all of your 5 pages are aligned all the time!


 3. It is time to make little holes in the marked places. It will make the sewing easier.

4. When you have your holes start sewing. The step-by-step process is shown in the photos!

Tip: You can use a sewing machine for this part! I thought about that but wanted to try hand sewing first. So if you are in a hurry or just want to make things easier try sewing faster this way.

Easy to follow tutorial on how to sew a notebook!
Easy to follow tutorial on how to sew a notebook!

5. When you reach the end of the signature just make a knot a few times.

6. Repeat the same with other 2 signatures!

So far when you are done the back of your book should look like this:

Easy to follow tutorial on how to sew a notebook!
Easy to follow tutorial on how to sew a notebook!

7. Now once again take your needle and thread, make a knot at the end and start sewing those 3 signatures together!

8. Secure everything at the end by making few knots.

Easy to follow tutorial on how to sew a notebook!
Easy to follow tutorial on how to sew a notebook!

Now your book should look like this! Here is a view of threading from different pages. You can see that it looks different when in the middle of the signature or between two signatures.


9. At the last step you can use tape and hide all the threads at the back of the notebook. I did it and the end result looked like this:


Tip: Because of the thick watercolor paper I didn't need to make a hardcover, but if you use thinner one you might want to make your first page thicker.

Now it is time to get creative and customize your own cover!

For this, I'm planning to use old drawings and make some kind of collage. Will share the end result very soon! Let me know how your books turn out if you try this.